‘Travel Gratefully’ is a series of special or sponsored write ups that add more value and gratitude during my travels. The topics cover unique grateful experiences with specific people, things, places, and many others. For sponsored write ups, all are inspired by my experiences and nothing else. All posted articles are deemed worthy and in line with the main goal of this blog series which is to inspire MORE grateful travelling.
The initial plan for my Hokkaido trip was to explore Sapporo and the nearby areas only. During this time, there was no plan to go to Niseko yet. So I decided to look for Niseko-ish places near Sapporo. Since my trip was early winter, it was hard to find a ski resort that would be open during my trip.
But lo and behold, I found SNOW CRUISE ONZE!
What I loved about this ski resort:
- Around a 30-40 minute ride from Sapporo (nearest)
- Most affordable winter activity prices
- Open as early as late November
- There is a free shuttle to/from Sapporo and Snow Cruise Onze! YES! IT’S FREE!
- Overlooking the sea
If you’re in Sapporo and want a quick snow getaway as early as November, Snow Cruise Onze is definitely the place to be!
Inquire TODAY! firstname.lastname@example.org
Even though I just came back from Niseko the day before, I still wanted to visit this place. I wanted to marvel at a view where the snow meets the sea and I knew Snow Cruise Onze could offer that. Prior to my arrival, I already contacted them and told the team that I would like to feature this ski resort on my blog series. They quickly approved of the feature and told me they would be waiting for me.
Here’s a full review and narrative of my experience at Snow Cruise Onze:
HOW TO GET TO SNOW CRUISE ONZE
Guys, it is very convenient to get to Snow Cruise Onze from Sapporo! Japan is not the easiest on budgets when it comes to transportation but Snow Cruise Onze already has you covered with their FREE SHUTTLE BUSES! You just take the Tozai Subway Line to Miyanosawa Station. From there, go outside the Seiyu building, you’ll find this space, and just wait for the bus.
If you get lost, just go to the bus management office and they will tell you where you should wait.
Buses arrive and leave according to this free shuttle timetable. They arrive and leave ON TIME! So efficient!
The bus drivers do not understand English so just say “Onze” or “Ski” and they will understand that you want to go to Snow Cruise Onze.
The bus takes around 40 – 45 minutes as it has multiple stops. The bus will pick up mostly teens/kids along the way, all of them holding up their skis or snowboards.
SNOW CRUISE ONZE
Once you arrive at Snow Cruise Onze, you’ll see a big slope and the sea on its opposite side. The mix of snow and sea plus the very cold weather was a great experience.
To start off your winter activities, you can inquire at the Snow Cruise Onze information center. The center houses a food court, resting areas, winter rental equipment, bathrooms, and lockers. Outside the building, you can find different food stalls of crepe and BBQ as well as the ticket booths for the chair lifts.
Adult Lift Tickets start at Y3,100 (P1,338+) for 1 day
Ski & Snowboard Set Rental starts at Y4,100 (P1,769+) for 1 day
If you canvass different ski resorts around Sapporo, these are the cheapest that you will probably find. You can also request for Ski/Snowboard lessons. For more information, visit https://snow.gurunavi.com/guide/htm/r0174ens.htm
Since I already did my snowboarding in Niseko, I just wanted to chill at Snow Cruise Onze. I also wanted to enjoy the snow since there was no snow at Sapporo at the time. The Snow Cruise Onze team allowed me to use the lifts and lent me snow boots.
They advised me that I could not use the lifts going down so I had to walk down the very high slope. I didn’t really mind this as it became a very spontaneous snow shoe trek for me – more on this later. Please be advised that not everyone at Snow Cruise Onze (staff at rentals or food court, etc) can speak English as this ski resort caters more to the locals and foreign visitors rarely come. Just smile and point to what you want and I am sure someone will be able to assist you.
When my snow boots were all strapped in, the Snow Cruise Onze team led me to the base area of the ski/snowboard slope. From there, you can already see the view of the ocean. It was really beautiful. It got me so hyped up on what it would look like on top of the slope.
Nearing the chair lifts, OMG I got a little nervous because the chairs were moving so fast and there was no seat belt or anything to strap me in! It would just be me holding on to the side rails! OMG OMG OMG!!!
I was really the odd one out there as a lot of the Japanese locals were just snowboarding or skiing along beside me racing to the chairlifts, sitting on them, and going on their merry way. When it was my turn to ride the chair lifts, the Snow Cruise Onze team slowed the chairs down so it would not startle me too much. But when I sat, I was up, up, up, and away!
I was really gripping the rails hard. I couldn’t even take photos or videos at that starting point. But I started to do my fear countdown where I count for 5 seconds and let the fear or nerves do its thing and I just let go.
And I realized where I was. The wind was hitting my face making me feel the cold all over. I looked to my side and saw the pristine white snowy slope where the locals were skiing and snowboarding all over and I was above them….dangling, flying. It was really a grateful moment! I could see the sun from afar giving light to an amazing view. To be honest, there were still a few nerves but more happiness was instilled more than anything.
DUNDUNDUN…..and I was near the top. The ones before me were putting on their skis and snowboards and they were sliding down. I only had my snow boots, I couldn’t slide, and this was my actual first time on a chair lift! But when the operator at the top saw me, he slowed down the moving lifts and reached out his hand to help me. I tripped a little but got off nonetheless.
AND WOW. The view at the top was AMAZING! It was VERY HIGH! The snow just complimented the sea right away. It was an amazing spot to take photos. I wish I wore waterproof pants because anywhere I sat it was really cold and wet. I didn’t mind at first but when I sat longer it got really uncomfortable.
This Snow Cruise Onze spot is a must see! I thought I fulfilled my snow fix in Niseko but being there at Snow Cruise Onze made me realize that I craved for more amazing views like that.
When I finished marveling at the view and taking photos, I started my descent. It seemed challenging if you look at it first hand but as you continue to walk down, it gets easier. The snow boots really helped a lot as there are a lot of slippery spots.
While going down, I couldn’t help but pause and watch the view. It was really beautiful. The simple things are just there, right in front of us. We fail to appreciate its value sometimes. We all need to learn to pause and realize that the grandest feelings can come from the simplest of moments.
There was a point while hiking down where I didn’t know where to step on as almost all of my options were slippery. I looked up for a bit. I’m not sure if I didn’t see it before but when I looked down again, I saw footprints! I know! Scary, right? HAHAHAHAHA But yeah, I trusted my weird instincts and followed the footprints and VOILA! It was the right choice! I didn’t slip! THANK YOU, LOLA!
When I made it to the base, I imaginary high five-d myself: SNOW SHOE TREK ACHIEVED! Prior to arriving in Snow Cruise Onze, I didn’t know I would be doing that! Sometimes, most of my travels are planned so I usually know what is going to happen. But with that spontaneous snow shoe hike down, I was really happy that my travels can still surprise me. I was grateful to the universe for giving me new experiences where I can learn new things.
At the base, I took more photos and retired to the information center. I decided to eat at the food court while waiting for the next free shuttle bus to arrive. There are food vending slots for you to place your order and cash. Once you get the receipt, give it to the staff at the counter. The staff does not speak English so just wait around 5 to 10 minutes and go back to the counter for your order.
There is wi-fi at Snow Cruise Onze.
When the shuttle bus arrived, I quickly took photos of the slope and guests during the night scene. Snow Cruise Onze is open until 11PM so you have a lot time to experience this ski resort.
I really had a great time at Snow Cruise Onze. If you’re in Sapporo and want a quick winter morning or afternoon, Snow Cruise Onze will definitely satisfy these wants! Thank you so much to the Snow Cruise Onze team for accommodating me, I am so grateful!
Travel Gratefully With Snow Cruise Onze!
Check out Snow Cruise Onze TODAY!